Monday, February 28, 2011

Indiana Smallmouth Alliance "Smallie Stravaganza" THIS WEEKEND

I will be speaking at the Indiana Smallmouth Alliance's third annual Smallie Stravaganza. Topic will be everything smallmouth bass in rivers and Indiana. I will detail my theories on locating fish year round and how my approach changes. I'll try to make it as appropriate for fly casters as for those who like to throw lures at fish.

Ticket price includes dinner. We will also have fishing/outdoors related raffles and auctions, so you just might pick up some good deals on gear that works on Indiana streams. Expect to have a great time and be pumped to get out and go fishing!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Another Stellar Day 2/27/2011

Following up yesterday's high water success,  today I targeted a larger, wider pool and found them stacked up on the current seam. Overlining slowed the drift down. Action all day. Today I got 23 smallies in slightly more than 4 hours. All on float and fly. The fought really hard and a couple went slightly airborne, even lost one 17-18"er.. When I got back to the car I was shocked to see the temps had reached 50F+

Lesson: Not to neglect current seams, even in winter. I drifted the bait with open bail. Caught 33/36 smallies this weekend on one black/while/flash fnf jig before I lost it at the end.
17.75" Smallmouth Bass

18.75" smallmouth bass

17.5" smallmouth bass

18" smallmouth bass

23 SMB (18.75", 18", 17.75", 17.5", 16", 3 15-15.75")

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Early Season Smallie Whacking 2/26/2011

Took the dog out for some tromping through the woods near the river. She had a great time chewing bark and leading the way.

Fished an inside bend with some large chunk rocks. Water was up and pumping with maybe 14-18" of visibilty. Green. The colder weather had done a great job choking off the flow of rain into the rivers and water had cleared up nicely.

Fished right along the bank with float and fly, casting parallel and seldom more than 10' from shore. Wasn't long and a nice float dunking led to the first bass, a 15"er. It was critical to stay in the slower water to get bit all day. There wasn't much of it- point, rootwad, or riverbend here or there led to slack water close to shore- where the smallmouth seek shelter from rushing water.

Not many casts later the float sunk some 4' from shore. Reared back. It was big. The fish came up and made a few powerful runs back and forth. I kept the rod high and let in run a bit. The banks where I was fishing were the 45 degree angle type and muddy. So it was pretty hard to land fish. You couldn't beach them without risking snapping line or sliding in where the water was quickly belly deep. Slip, slide, and brush away Wendy, I lipped the fish. It had an enormous head and part of a ripped lip. Meaning someone had caught and released the fish. It looked big, but it has honestly beeen so long since I saw many smallies- all I knew was over 18". Tail was like a sailboat sail. The fish went 20.5". Felt for my camera, only to realize it was at home in my rain jacket! Oh, well. She was kind of skinny anyway.

Left and went upstream to a high water spot. Quickly two float dunks and a dink and 15"er to hand. Worked the small spot in the eddy for the boulder they like to sit on the back of for a long time when the float dunked. A nice camo- 15.75" chunk.

Carried the dog across the creek, we hustled to the next spot where a dink and 12"er came to hand on float and fly technique. I really think this techniques shines in how it slows your presentation down. That was it for the spot. We walked back, I carried the dog across the creek again and we headed back to the car and spot 1.

I intentionally fish closer to the bank further up. Float dunks. Dink.

Not long later, another dunk on a gentle drift close in. This time it is a big fish again, and thick. 18". From nearly in front of me a couple feet from my feet.

A few casts later, a longer cast dunks close to shore and I get a great fight out of the fish. Turns out to be a 17.25" linebacker SMB.

Another drift nearly in front of me results in a dunked float and an awesomely yellow 18" female is soon running all over the place!

Big smiles at this point, another float dunk with a float nearly a foot from shore. Again a thick yellow smb. This fish went 16.75".

A few casts later, I flick one downstream and let it drift downwards with an open bail. Float sinks. I nice orange gold smallie of about 15". It would be the last fish

The last bit was crazy. The really weird thing about this spot is it gets a lot of pressure and normally doesn't produce all that well in warm months.

All fish came drifting the fly in slower current next to shore and cover. Shaking the float was unproductive

Ended with 13 SMB in 5 hours Lots of chunkers:(20.5", 2-18", 17.25, 16.75", 3-15-15.75)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Kentucky Meat Shower of 1876

At approximately 2 p.m. on March 3, 1876, for a period of a couple of minutes, big chunks of fresh red meat three to four inches square fell on a 100 by 50 yard area, near the home of Allen Crouch, near Olympia Springs, in Bath county Kentucky. The "Kentucky Meat Shower", as it came to be known was the cause for serious debate and scientific interest. The story was featured in several major national publications at the time, including the New York Times, and Scientific American.

The meat appeared to be beef, but when two area men (yes this really happened) tasted the meat, they said it was either mutton or venison. Theories on the meat shower where varied, ranging from frog matter blown into the air to "nostoc", a form of vegetable matter. A Dr. Allan McLane Hamilton appeared in Medical Record, stating that he and Dr. J.W.S. Arnold had made a microscopic examination of the material from the Kentucky Meat Shower. They had identified the substance as lung tissue from a human infant or a horse ("the structure of the organ in these two cases being almost identical").

Out of the seven samples that eventually where examined, two were of lung tissue, three were muscle tissue and two were cartilage. The most probable theory for the meat shower was that a large pack of buzzards flew over the area after having eaten what was apparently a couple of freshly dead horses, and when one of them spontaneously disgorged itself, all the others (as apparently is customary amongst buzzards), followed suit.

Friday, February 18, 2011

2/17/11 Cat Piss Reciprocity

Zack and I took a day off Thursday. Forecast was for 65F on 2/17.

Rivers had come up slow, so I hoped the water wouldn't be turbulent. Unfortunately, the river was so we hit something a little more secret. When we passed over, the green water was all we needed to see to get excited.

I selected all the spots, having never fished them before in cold weather. It can be hard to find the exact location in each pool where fish hold. This creek is exceptionally rocky so there are plenty of places to hide.

I was goofing with my new baitcaster when I see Zack pull a smallish smb out of my first spot with a fnf jig.

Later, he pulled a couple more on tubes including this 17"er. It took patience and maybe something else to get bit.

We left to hit another hole, Zack smelled of cat piss. His garage cat was having its way on Zack's waders all winter. So we got back in my car and hit another spot. Zack pulls a handful of dinks, then pulls this 17"er out of a spot I had combed about 10 times.

I'm thinking it is not my day. Nothing worked for me.

Really don't know why he caught the first 7 bass, things like that can drive you nuts.

At the last hole, enough of the cat piss smell collected on MY tube to get bit. Working parallel to a classic high bank with current broken up by a number of rootwads, 2' from shore. A rubber band flick hit my tube. It took almost a three count for me to realize it was a bass. The fish hooked itself and the rest was easy.

Got one, finally! Sigh of relief.

ZP: 7 SMB 2-17"+
BT: 1 SMB 17"+

We joked it was the urine scent on the lures.